PLAYERS: 1-4 simultaneous
PUBLISHER: Data East
DEVELOPER: Data East
RELEASE DATE: October 1990
So it’s come to this… a series of Olympic-style events featuring cavemen. It’s a little hard to come down from the glory that was two-thirds of the Castlevania series to, well, dreck. As far as I know, nobody asked for Caveman Games, nobody wanted it when it was released, and no one outside of NES aficionados even remember the game. Despite its relative anonymity, does Caveman Games still exist? Unfortunately, yes. Otherwise I wouldn’t be reviewing it.
Well, I’m bored. Let’s review the individual events, shall we?
Clubbing – Drawing heavily from the early NES “masterpiece” Urban Champion, Clubbing makes no promises it can’t keep. With only your trusty club to guide you, you must bash your opponent’s head in, square and true. Since you’re fighting atop a precariously placed large stone, you can also lightly nudge your opponent towards the edge and wait for one of the edges to break off. Highly recommended.
Mate Toss – Mate Toss happens to be the most amusing and interesting game of the whole bunch. Don’t get me wrong: the event’s still only amusing for about five minutes, but those five minutes are a doozy. Watch as a large neanderthal woman goes flying across the screen! Gasp as she looks like she might break her back upon landing, only to land and bounce gracefully on her buttocks! If you do good, she’ll give you a thumbs-up. If not, she’ll shrug her shoulders. If only all the games were this amusing for even a brief span of time.
Dino Vault – I’m not sure who thought this would be fun. Furiously tap ‘A’ to run across a screen, hold up and ‘B’ to begin to vault, then let go of ‘B’ to fly over a very patient T-Rex. It doesn’t matter how fast you run, what kind of shape your dumpy caveman is in this game, you’ll never fly over the T-Rex.
Saber Race – Outside of Mate Toss, you’ll find no greater event than the Saber Race in Caveman Games. You and an opponent are running away from a saber-toothed tiger, but instead of working together, only one caveman can outrun the tiger. If you get close to your opponent, feel free to beat him, and he will go flying back towards the tiger. This will enhance your sense of self-esteem and increase your ability to mate with several mannish women.
Fire Start – Remember when you were a kid and your dad took you camping? Remember how he tried for hours and hours to show you how to start a fire, only to have you mess up time and time again, and then he stormed off, furious, saying you weren’t really his son? That is the kind of fun Data East was going for with this section. Click rocks together and try to make a fire. Once you succeed, you win both a large caveman smile and your dad’s nodding approval.
Dino Race – I challenge anyone to even want to play this section. I know I didn’t.
The concept of playing as a neanderthal is a poor one for video games. Whose dream is it to inhabit a club-wielding imbecile? Remember Chuck Rock? Prehistorik Man? Of course not because those games were terrible. Caveman Games can join the pantheon – and indeed, take the lead – as the worst game to ever feature cavemen, despite the inclusion of a Mate Toss game, which should by all rights and means, redeem it.